Word Association

Clearly, I’ve been a bit AWOL– swept up in a few real-life issues and neglecting my poor little blog.

I’ve been singing all day about buying a Corolla. I have no actual intention of doing so. And, no, it’s not a jingle.

In the words of Adrian Monk, here’s what happened:

A couple of weeks ago, my family met at a restaurant to celebrate my mother’s birthday. A Mexicanesque place called “Uncle Julio’s”

Which led to a discussion between my mother’s first cousin and my own first cousin. My mother’s cousin had “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard” stuck in her head, due to the restaurant name. My cousin, being a young thing, had never heard of the song.

Turns out, neither had my husband.

The conversation went on long enough that on our way home, my husband demanded I sing the song for him. He loves it. And ever since, he’s been asking me to sing it, he’s been humming it often, trying to sing it himself.

Here’s the problem with that… he doesn’t remember the words.

Unstymied, he makes up his own as he goes along.

Which is why, as the song lodges itself in my noggin, instead of
“Goodbye to Ro-o-o-o-osie-e-e, the Queen of Corona,”
I’m finding myself singing,
“Going to buy me-e-e-e-e-e, a brand-new Corolla.”

I love my goofy husband. null

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What’s Mine is Yours

So the other night as we finish dinner, I pick up my empty tea mug and head to stove to put the kettle on.

“Can I have some tea, too?” my husband asks.

“Sure. Where’s your mug?”

He points to the one in my hand. “I think that one’s mine.”

“Nope. Yours is probably upstairs.”

“YOURS is upstairs.”

This is going nowhere fast. “Dude. No.”

Always a tower of jello, I go upstairs and retrieve it.

“See? Here’s your mug. It was right where you left it.”

He shakes his head. “I told you. That’s YOUR mug.”

“It’s my mug? I left MY mug on the table next to YOUR chair with YOUR brand of tea bag inside?”

A long pause.

He reaches for it and chokes back a smile. “What I meant was, this was your mug before we got married. And if we ever get divorced, you’ll retain full custody of this mug. I mean, come on… it has sunflowers all over the sides.”

I laugh. I can’t help it.

“Does that mean I still get tea?”

Stinker.

If You Believe in Love…

“I don’t know if you believe in Christmas…
Or if you have presents underneath a Christmas tree.
But if you believe in love,
That will be more than enough
For you to come and celebrate with me.”

~ Kermit the Frog, “The Christmas Wish”

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Happy 4th of July!

Here in the good ol’ US of A, we’re celebrating Independence Day. But for my international readers (allowing for time zone differences), it’s still the fourth of July, right?

So Happy 4th!

Another Mystery Solved!

My husband, affectionately known around these parts as “Mr. Kiddoc,” has baffled me for years.

He can make things disappear without a trace. Give him a set of keys or a remote control or a scrap of paper with a phone number on it and– in under a minute– it will be gone. He won’t even need to leave his chair.

Many times I’ve marveled at his ability to lose things. He can be holding his wallet one minute and asking for help finding it the next. And he has a bad leg… it’s not like he can speed in and out of my line of sight.

I’ve often told him the CIA should hire him to make things disappear.

Well, recently it happened again. He was sitting in the family room. I handed him the phone and a refrigerator magnet with the phone number of our local pizza joint so he could order our dinner. I then returned to the kitchen. Mr. Kiddoc never moved from the sofa. I could see the top of his head through our pass through.

And yet, by the time he hung up the phone, the magnet was missing.

We dug deep into the sofa cushions, but no dice. The magnet was gone.

A few hours later, I stumbled across it. About 15 feet away from where he was sitting, on the hearth of our fireplace.

I should add that the magnet is shaped like a slice of pizza and therefore disinclined to roll.

My BFF and I finally put it together. There is only one possible explanation.

My husband can create wormholes.

They are, evidently, quite weak, allowing only the transfer of small objects a few feet in any direction. But perhaps now that he knows, he’ll be able to hone his skills.

We can only hope he will use his powers for good. *snort*

U Got the Look: Novel Marketing and Prom Ensembles

Well, Prom season is upon us. You may wonder what the heck that has to do with marketing a novel. Well, I’ll tell you.

But first, I’d like to introduce this into evidence:

That’s me (with my sister) on my way to the prom circa 1992.

Now, if you’re like me, after looking at this picture, you’re rubbing your stinging nose with one hand while wiping the coffee off your laptop with the other. Which is hard to do when you’re shaking with laughter. I mean that is really quite the look, right?  Check out the asymmetric hair-do and the “floating pearl” necklace. Not to mention the white iridescent tights. And when you’re uberpale, the best look is almost always baby pink patterned satin over white tulle, natch.

Here’s the thing:

At the time, I thought I looked awesome. Other people thought I looked awesome, too. I overheard my date’s younger sister whining that her brother must have bribed me or something cuz OMG, she’s actually pretty!

Unfortunately, I believe writing is a bit like fashion. I finished the first draft of The Edge of Memory in 7 weeks. I did a quick grammar edit, and then shipped the manuscript off to a bevy of test readers for feedback, while I took a month away “for perspective.” (yeah, right.)

Over the next several months, I completed several major edits. I then decided I was done tinkering and ready to seek representation. I read the blogging agents mantras of “Don’t Query Before You’re Ready” and “Write a Great Book” and felt confident. I loved my manuscript. I didn’t think it was perfect, of course, but I thought I’d reached the point where I needed professional feedback to progress further.

I was both right and wrong.

Since that first stopping point (when my book was titled “Still Haunted”), I’ve done at least six more rounds of editing. And each time I finish a round of edits, I cringe to look at the previous drafts. Just like that prom picture, I look at those versions and wonder, “what the heck I was thinking?”

In February, an agent who had requested a partial and then my full manuscript pointed out a plot detail that bothered her. She gave me a eureka moment and I subsequently rewrote several scenes. I am very pleased with the resulting manuscript, and have not edited again since (which, of course, shatters my previous record of approximately nine minutes between edits). I think this time I finally have reached the most polished version I can produce.

Naturally, I wish I had known that I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was when I first began querying. But then, I’m not sure I would have reached this place without the submission process. Certainly, I might never have had the eureka moment without that agent’s input.

The take-home point here is that I’m glad I’ve never been a Query Player (much as I’ve tried). If I had queried a zillion agents when I first thought my manuscript was ready, I’d have burned all my bridges.

But since I’ve only queried a few agents at a time, I’ve got a chance to show my best work. And I’m grateful for that.

Be Careful What You Wish For! (In Deep Smit 1/30/09)

Another Friday and again, I am deeply smitten with my own husband (affectionately known on these internets as “Mr. Kiddoc”)

Case in point:

I’m driving, Mr. Kiddoc is shotgun.
(several quiet moments pass uneventfully)

Mr. Kiddoc turns from the window. “I’m thinking maybe I should become a rock star.”
“Sounds good to me.”
“Of course, I don’t play any instrument.”
“Well… no sense letting details get in the way.”
He shifts in his seat, lacing his fingers over his knee. “So what instrument should I play?”
“The triangle.” I nod. “You could pick that one up quick, I think.”
“I don’t know.” He bites his lip. “I didn’t think you would want me to play the triangle.”
“Why not?”
“You know the girls always go for the triangle player.”